Monday, August 29, 2005

Timberman Sprint Results

I'm BACK! It was a productive week of painting, organizing, cleaning, and a bit of demolition. Ya'll ought to buy stock in Home Depot because we're single-handedly going to drive up their profits. Had a few good runs and two great swims. UPS screwed up with my new address and I didn't get my new running shoes on Tuesday like Road Runner Sports promised...and I can't run in my old Asics because my achilles tendons are today I'll get them from UPS before they ship 'em back! ARGH. I'm very excited to run in them...I ended up choosing the Adidas Adistar Control...reports to follow.

On Saturday the 22nd, I raced in the Timberman Sprint and had a BLAST. The weather was 65F and overcast and there was a light drizzle during the run only - a perfect respite from the horrible hot and humid stuff we'd had. I had an AMAZING swim - 322/812 without a wetsuit so I was very pleased with that...the bike went ok although I was repeatedly reminded that Amelia is not a climber. Still, there were great flats and some excellent downhills so I passed a bunch a folks in my aerobars who had passed me on the hills...and they stayed behind me too. I was so worried this would be a crazy competitive race but being so big it turned out that there were a lot of newbies and I was happily in the middle of the pack the whole time. AND, I ran 10:20 min. miles which is SUPER fast for me. I was still very much in the back of the pack overall on the run (among the slowest 100 racers) but running isn't my forte so I was PSYCHED to do so well overall. It used to be there were 5-10 people behind me and this time there were 100!! I'll definitely race there again - it was top rate.

I had to work on Sunday so I couldn't stick around and see all the big names race in the Half Ironman but one HUGE bit of inspiration was that the Hoyt's were there and raced in the sprint. They were a few swim waves ahead of me - Dick pulled Rick in the raft - and then I didn't see them again until the run but they finished not more than 20 minutes behind me. UNreal. It makes me so thankful that I'm so fortunate in this life...and so humble to see them striving for such excellence. Just incredible.

OK, I don't have time for the full report right now - hopefully tomorrow - but here are my times if you're interested (enter bib# 5551).

Friday, August 19, 2005

Signing Off for a Bit

Taking next week off to work on the house so I won't be posting much. Not only do we NOT have high speed internet connection capabilities, we don't even have any three pronged plugs. I'm going to call the electrician right now! Have a great weekend and best of luck to anyone that's back in a week or so.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Drain Update

My house has coronary artery disease. Turns out there is/was no clog, it's just a very old one-inch pipe with lots of crud built up inside it. Combine that with a 6.5 gallon/minute shower head and we had standing water. ICK.

So our Knight-in-Shining-Armor-Electrical-Plumbing-Heating Wizard came by, dumped some industrial strength sulfuric acid down the drain and installed a low volume shower head (2 gallons/minute) and we're back in business. THANK THE GODDESS. I was beginning to lose hope.

Now we just need to get rid of the sulphur smell... Ahhhh, the joys of homeownership...

Next post: Invasive Plants I Have Known... ;)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

A Run Down Memory Lane

Monday night's run around Lake Morey was amazing. It had me waxing nostalgic for the first time I ever ran (ok, walk-jogged) around it in 1984 when I was 12...

It was totally about the t-shirt. It wasn't a special t-shirt - just a regular camp uniform shirt, white with green trim on the neck and the sleeves and a camp logo...BUT, it had a REALLY COOL screen print right from Arts and Crafts on the back. I knew I wanted one the minute I saw it - whatever it takes to get one of those, sign me up. It would make me special, set me apart, show I'd achieved something. The screen print was a green bootprint and the treads of the boot spelled out "Lake Morey Marathon." 5 miles around the lake, no problem. I'm IN.

For the next week (I think we only trained for a week...seems like maybe we should have done a bit more) we met on the front porch during "free time" when everyone else was playing cards or jacks or kickball and we went for our training run...I think there might have been 3 or 4 of us, if even that many. I don't have any recollection of this training except for one session when we went with the DIRECTOR because the counselor in charge couldn't go and the director happened along at what I'm sure she thought was an unfortunate moment and got stuck dragging four little girls along during her half hour of what was supposed to be her free time too. I distinctly remember from this run that the director left us in the dust...I get deja vu EVERY time I'm riding my bike along this particular stretch of's SO vivid in my, sweaty, further from camp than I wanted to be, wondering why I was doing this, sun in my eyes, director person a tiny dot on the horizon. I remember being alone but I'm sure I wasn't. So we trained.

Race day came and we climbed in the van to go over to the other lake (Lake Morey) where the older girls and the boys camps were - and they were setting up the race. We would run along side the BIG kids.

I remember being nervous about making it the whole way and I also remember that there was a LOT of walking. I remember meeting a few other people along the run and getting encouragement from them...and I remember that when there were people cheering, I ran, and once past them, I walked. I also remember that I had old crappy tennis shoes. And I got that shirt. I still have it. I had everyone sign it too. It was totally worth it.

After that summer, I "graduated" from the younger girls camp on Lake Fairlee to the older girls camp on Lake Morey and stayed for 7 more summers as a camper, midi (counselor in training) and a counselor. I don't think I ran around the lake once in those 7 years! But the Lake Morey Marathon still happens...two guys I know once ran it while they portaged a canoe. Strange folk in these parts...

So now I've bought my first house and I've moved back to the lake, just down the road from camp. I get to run around it as much as I want and now that I've become a triathlete, I. LOVE. IT. There's a short Olympic distance race every year, The Great Fairlee Triathlon that has you swim a circular course, bike 24 mi. and then run around the lake (5 miles). I raced last year and finished in 3 hours - it's a GREAT race - very well organized and good post-race food. This year I had a great swim - 3 whole minutes faster than last year - but then I crashed on my bike and had to drop out. I'm already getting excited for next year...and 20 years later it's still pretty much about the t-shirt!

On Monday as I did my first lap since early spring of this year, I was reminded of that first time around when I was 12...and also of all the other times I've spent on that lake. I ran by the gravel pit where I bushwacked a new trail for one of my campcraft ranks, past camp where they were having their end of camp banquet and singing drifited up from the pine shrouded Hale (assembly hall), past the skinny-dipping raft just beyond camp property, past the boys camp where they were having a street hockey tournament complete with organ music and commentators, past three different staff houses where I lived after college as an outdoor educator, past the spot where as a counselor I crept away late at night to fall in first love and still my love... Every turn has a different memory, every smell evokes a different feeling, every step reminds me of who I used to be in a time of innocence and happiness and who I've become in the intervening 20 years. Feels kind of like I've come full circle...except that I just got back and it's time to start all over again. How lucky am I? Pretty damn lucky...

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Shameless Plug

OK, many of you have heard me go on and on about how great my masters swim coach is. Well, she's not just a coach...she works with former olympic breaststroker Glenn Mills to build this great website called Go Swim and they make instructional DVDs and run swim camps and do all kinds of great stuff, all in an effort to help people swim better.

Well, in watching Shelley struggle with her ankle injury, I suggested she check out Water Running for the Serious Athlete. Coach chose this title in case you were worried that you'd be doing some kind of chubby-club water aerobics class - this isn't ANYTHING like that. In fact, it's HARD! I've managed to do a little bit of it but I want to do more and it's especially good for those of us who live in climates where it's either too hot or too cold to run outside year round. She's developed several strides that work different muscle groups and keep you from getting bored. It's a MUST SEE for those of you who want to run better and longer without the pounding effects of pavement. And if you're injured, it's by far the best way to keep yourself from losing that valuable training base.

So that's my shameless plug of the day. I visit Go Swim every day and have gotten a lot out of it. The DVDs are top rate and there's a lot of good stuff for triathletes as well as swimmers.

So get out there and Go Swim!!

ps. Coach posts all of our CCB Masters Practices here if you're interested in great hour long training swims. We usually end up swimming between 2300 and 3000 yards.

Monday, August 15, 2005

I Will Not Go Quitely...

I'm racing this coming weekend. It's "just" a sprint but I don't really feel ready for has fallen by the wayside this past week as I've been busy moving and...well, just moving...but it'll be fine...I'm no less trained than I was for my last sprint and I'm not too worried about least I WASN'T too worried about it until...

...I get this email from the race organizers with all kinds of info about race day and such and included is a link to take me to a list of entrants. I scroll down the list, as directed, to find my name and make sure I'm entered for the right race, I'm in the right age group etc...I did this just after visiting The Kahuna's site and seeing his list of Tri Gods and Goddesses...and I notice that just above my name on the list of entrants is the name Andrea Fisher. Wait WHAT??? THE Andrea Fisher??? IS ENTERED IN A RACE THAT I'M ENTERED IN?? WTF?? PANIC!!! But wait, it gets better...I scroll down the list...Pete Jacobs....Chris Legh....Michael AND Amanda Lovato...Kate Major....Donna Smyers, Karen Smyers, Peter Reid (PETER REID??? THE Peter Reid???)...Todd Wiley, Susan Williams...I scroll back to the top....Jamie Cleveland...and I make myself stop because this is just nuts. OH MY FREAKIN' GOODNESS. What have I gotten myself into???

So then I'm totally stressed out and feel like I should go out and train like crazy for the next four days. I know that's a dumb idea and I don't plan on doing it, but still...I always got away with cramming for a big test...I feel like I really ought to cram for this too! OK, I know, I know...I won't do it. But I feel like I should...

I glance down the list again and realize that these guys are not entered in the sprint but are all signed up for the half ironman race which is a qualifier for IM Florida 2005, IM Canada 2006 and the Half Triathlon National Championships in KS City, MO. OK, that's a little better...BUT, it also tells me a little something about the quality of the field at this race...this is a BIG RACE and there are sure to be some very fast, very competitive people sprinting. If there was ever a race that I was capable of being last in, this would be it. Being last...that's a post for another day (and the topic of much therapy for me)...

So I'm sitting there, totally starstruck and quaking in my bike shoes thinking, "What the heck are you doing in a race with all these big names? You should just use this as a long training day and resign yourself to the inevitable last place finish...then you won't have to worry about it so much. Or you could just bail...just go and'd be cool to see all those talented athletes..."

But here's the thing: I could resolve that I might be last and just let it go...oh well, there's a first time for everything...someone has to be last and it's ok if it's me...I'll learn a lot by being last. I could give that to myself and take some of the pressure off. But taking the pressure off is letting that razor sharp edge be sharp enough...and you know, sharp enough might as well be dull. I've been saying, for weeks and months now, that I want to be more, to be better, to push harder to not SETTLE for what may play a part in my destiny rather than letting my destiny be written for me. I will not settle this time. NO. COMPLACENCY.

For now I will be starstruck instead of terrified of the big names.
I will be confident instead of intimidated.
I will have just as much character and bravery and determination as the pros out there.
I might not be as strong or as fast but I will not settle...
Enough of being good enough...

There's really nothing to be afraid of. And the reality is, I'll be so much more disappointed with myself if I don't race than I will if I do my best and still finish last. So there's really nothing to lose now is there? Great. Now I can get on with the business of getting ready.

A Little Advice?

The new house is GREAT! There is nothing like settling into a place and making it yours. It has a ways to go but we're making steady progress. Already been to the Home Depot twice and must go back today again - forgot the stuff to tape down the smaller rugs and nearly killed myself sliding across the hardwood floor!!

Just one complaint: There's NOTHING I hate more, and I mean NOTHING, than a slow tub drain. It's just so EEEEEWWWWWWW, yucky, nasty, awful and so NOT what taking a shower to get clean should be about. Tried the Drano Gel but I think that the clog is too far down the pipe.

SO, anyone had success clearing a deep pipe clog? What, if anything, did you use?? We're going to have to resort to the mechanical snake if we can't dissolve it. UGH. Need to get this one solved FAST! Any advice would be welcome.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Try This

This cereal is YUMMY. You should try it. For mor information about it, look here.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

A Tri-Geek State of Mind

Went out for a run last evening. My plan called for 3 miles, I felt good enough for 6 so I settled on 4. I spent 5 minutes looking for my iPod and once I found it, realized that I'd already taken my headphones to the new house with a bunch of other running I was destined to run with no tunes. OK, no worries...I've done it plenty of times, it just means I have to think harder about how much running isn't my sport.

The first 10 minutes were fine - the usual warm up, slow plod, enjoy the scenery but then it started to not feel as good. I was glad I'd settled on 4 miles because 6 wouldn't have happened.

But then the strangest thing started to happen...

I thought to myself, "Damn it's HOT. 88 degrees and 70% humidity...CRAP this sucks."
A voice poked at me, "But it's not as hot as Arizona where The Commodore has to can handle this, it's only 88. You might have to RACE in this weather next's good practice."

Hm. Curious. That came from out of nowhere...

Me: "Damn, my feet are swelling and they feel like they're in Chinese Foot binding running shoes...ouch this hurts..."
The Voice: "But everything else feels fine, at least you're not running a half marathon with what feels like a stress fracture in your lower leg after swimming 1.2 miles and biking 56 miles like Kona Shelley. It's just a few more miles, you can handle it. One foot in front of the other."

Me: "Okay, okay, one foot in front of the other...if this is what I get to listen to when my iPod is MIA, I'm going to chain it to my body somehow..."
The Voice: "Well Wil didn't complain and she had to run a whole half marathon without her music! Not to mention those pesky drawbridges and unmanned water stations. Go ahead, you can stop...but she didn't. No siree...not Iron Wil..."

Me: "AAAAARRRGGGGHH!!! OKAY already, I'm still running. See, I haven't stopped. Damn Flatman for sticking to his training plan and inspiring me to decide that I really want to stick to mine too."
The Voice: "Don't be cursin' my man Flat...he's working hard. You should take a page outta his book..."

Me: "Alright, alright. Are we home yet? I have sweat pouring into my eyes and these Under Armour sweat bands are complete junk."
The Voice: "Quit'cher bitchin', you're almost there. At least you're on terra firma. When The Kahuna sweats into his sunglasses, he's on a bike going mach 12 down the highway with traffic and squirrel hazards and..."

Me: "Okay, I've got it, I'm still running. Look, there's my driveway...ran the whole way, didn't I? And it didn't hurt as much with all that discussion. I suppose that's a good thing, right?"
The Voice: "Yup. I think if Martha trained for triathlon, she'd agree...It's a good thing."

Me: "So, am I done with you? Or are you going to torture me continually?"
The Voice: "What do you mean?? You SIGNED UP for this when you joined the Tri-Geek Alliance. This is what you were LOOKING for. Don't invite me to the party and make me stay on the doorstep knocking all night. I'm here for the long haul 'cause that's what you wanted. Until you can do it yourself, I'm gonna make the trip with you - right here on your shoulder."

Me: "I guess you're right. I got us into this didn't I? Do I at least get to complain about having to feed the dog now after this hot hot run?"
The Voice:"Nope. Don't even get me started on that one...Tri-Mama has 4 kids and The Kahuna has 4 kids and taking care of the dog doesn't even come close to...."

And on and on and on...

So, it's happened. The voices and experiences of Tri-Geeks everywhere have worked their way into my little noggin. I will embrace them for they are building within me an arsenal of weapons to fight fatigue, apathy, pain, sweat, hunger, thirst, adversity, doubt and any number of other negatives I'm sure I will encounter on this journey.

So just two things:

1.) Thanks to you all.
2.) Bring it on.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Amelia, The Amazing Cervelo One

After my bike crash, my Bike Gurus fixed up Amelia for me. A bit of history...she was named Amelia because she "flew" and she also accomplished feats previously considered impossible (the real Amelia Earhart flew solo across the Amelia carried me, in the first race I rode with her, to a bike time that was only 3 mintues off of the female leader's time...unREAL)...

So anyway, when I crashed, my aerobar elbow rests (flippers?) were damaged (translation=torn off) and there were some minor problems like chewed up handlebar tape and loose screws causing brakes to not work etc... They fixed her all up and put her back together according to my fit specs and I was good to go. They've since helped me install my new computer and it's GREAT. Now I can focus on my cadence and I get immediate feedback on my speed and distance. VERY cool.

Flatman requested some photos of the newly restored Amelia so here they are as promised. I could've taken more and illustrated for you all of the fancy components and stuff but first I need to go take a bike maintenance class and learn what they're all called. Does that make me a poser? I'm just not a bike gear head...that's why I have (and pay) the Bike Gurus.

Since Amelia has an aerodynamic, funny shaped frame/tube/thingy (a little help?), the mount for my tire pump doesn't I have it crammed in there along the side of my right aero bar. Seems to stay's not pretty but it works..

Oh, and by the way...sadly, you can't get the Cervelo One any more...I swear mine was one of the last ones made as it took about 5 months for them to actually complete the backorder...turns out it was too good a bike for the price point it was offered at two years ago... I'm told that the Cervelo Dual is the equivalent frame with higher end components...and another $500 added on for good measure. Sorry ya'll, I got the last one!!

Sometimes you just feel like a fish...

Had a kick-a$$ swim practice yesterday morning that left me flying high all day. I'm not sure what it was that made it so great but I just felt FAST. There were about 10 of us I think, and most of the Fishies are away and haven't been showing up so I got to lead the Fishy lane!! Maybe the lane just has fast karma but on my first 100 yds, I swam a 1:30 without really trying and my PR for 100 yards, going all out-puke at the end-fast is 1:28. Sweet. I didn't hold my times for the 6x100 but I didn't do much slower than a 1:40 either so that's pretty good for me. I've started to feel a little bit of that inner weasel but it's a good weasel...I'm gently challenging others in my lane to keep up with me (translation=push me a little harder) and also pushing myself to keep up with them. And I haven't willingly conceded the lead to anyone in several weeks. NO COMPLACENCY!!

Looking forward to the move being done...time to get on with everything else.

Oh, and that's Kaitlin Sandeno swimming freestyle...

Sunday Evening Ride

Yes, I realize it's Wednesday. You see, I'm in the process of moving and I can't find anything (like the camera cord would be helpful)...and posting at work is tough because work is getting busier as my co-workers take's tricky when there are only four of us in the company as production drops off by 25% when one person is gone. Alas, only now have I managed to find the cord, get my pictures off my camera and steal a brief moment to show you...

Anyway, on Sunday after a long day of moving all the big heavy stuff (we've vowed that we're not allowed to move again until we can afford movers to do it for us), I tossed Amelia in the car and zoomed off to ride one of my favorite routes along the Connecticut River. I live in a border town (VT/NH) so I have unlimited options for rides up and down the scenic's great because the road has gently rolling hills with beautiful views of the river and mountains and a few good climbs and downhills too...and if you venture either East or West away from the river, you can climb forever out of the river basin (I don't do this very often but it's in my near future plans to do it more...) and you're very quickly heading into the foothills of the White Mountains to the east or the Green Mountains to the west. Good training country!! The other great thing is that Route 10 travels the edge of the river in NH and Route 5 travels the edge in VT and there are bridges about every 10-15 miles...SO, you can do a 20 mile loop (up one side, bridge, down the other side, bridge), a 40 mile loop, a 60 mile get the idea...and there are also lots of side routes that can add or subract mileage for you if you need to bail. AND the traffic isn't too bad either...It's riding bliss and I plan to take advantage of as much of August and September riding as possible.

So on Sunday I took my camera and snapped a few pics of the countryside...and my new house is also on this route so I stopped there and took some house shots too... enjoy!! (Bear with me, i don't know how to format captions yet... heh...)

Here's the bridge where I crossed from NH into VT. When my aunt was a counselor at camp (the same camp I also went to and why I've ended up living up here), she and a few others got a little tanked and actually walked up and over the least that's the legend...

Can you imagine going up and over??

The view north from the bridge...

The Fairlee Diner..."Only two places to eat great food: The Fairlee Diner and home." read the bumper stickers....

The new house from the front...there's a great big screened in porch!

House from the back...notice the TV antenna. No, you're right, it's not an optical illusion, it is at least as tall as the house is tall. We're thinking maybe we'll operate our own broadcasting network but rumor has it that it'll only transmit to one channel the satellite dish on the garage seems to work pretty well... The antenna will come down next summer when the new roof goes on... thankfully.

The garage - we believe it was built to house Model-T Fords in the 1920' it'll be home to all the gardening equipment. (Oh, and that's Amelia too...)

The apple tree and back yard (in the distance). We can't stand mowing so we'll make the garden out back huge. Wait...we can't stand weeding either. Ughh...the joys of home ownership!!

On the way south down the eastern side of the river, I dropped into my aerobars and enjoyed watching my new bike computer prove to me that I'm much faster in that position. I didn't take too many more pictures but had to stop and snap this one of a huge's not Nebraska but still impressive in my opinion...

More soon!

Friday, August 05, 2005


Since I work for a small printing and graphic design company, I have the ability to design and print a custom tri training log (acutal paper, not virtual) for myself every year. It has evolved over the past three years as I fine tune what's important and what's not, record goals achieved and set new's nice to be able to look thru the old logs and see where I've come from and to have a good way to look forward too.

Page 3 is titled "Why I Tri." It's numbered from 1-100 and each season I find that I have more and more reasons to keep at it so I add these reasons in...I'm up to about 45 reasons why I find it necessary to participate in this craziness. But it's reason #31 that I've been thinking a lot about lately:

To improve my accountability to myself.

Flatman and The Kahuna have touched on it lately, both are posting their workouts and both have made reference to the fact that it'll help to keep them accountable for actually doing the workouts. I think whatever helps you stick to a plan is a good thing. But there's one word in #31 that I just can't get my arms around: MYSELF.

Accountable to MYSELF.

Now I'm a pretty reliable, responsible and accountable person when I know other people are depending on me and/or when the consequences of being irresponsible are negative. If I say I'll do something for you, I'm going to do it or I'll let you know with lots of lead time (and hopefully a damn good excuse) that I can't do it. I pay bills on time. I register to vote AND I go vote. I keep my car inspected. I'm basically your typical goody goody...I don't like when things feel out of control or don't get handled. It just causes too much chaos. I like to simplify.

But when it comes to being accountable to MYSELF and my goals for triathlon, I fail in every arena.

I say I'm going to eat healthier food and watch my calorie intake. To eat poorly is a way of hurting this body I've been given. I want to take care of it and make it I feel good and so I save myself some money on health care later on in life. Eating well is a way to treat myself well. I don't take drugs or drink or smoke - I don't even drink coffee - because those are all bad things to do to my body. Being 40 lbs. overweight is just as unhealthy. I say all this, in my head I know it's true and I also know that I want to feel good. But 10 minutes later I'm stopping at the ice cream stand because that's what is going to make me feel good right then. I'm not accountable to anyone but myself on this front. It's my choice to have the ice cream or not...and it's SO easy to say I'll just have it today, just this know the routine.

I plan to do a bike/run brick on Wednesday. I'm going to get up early because I want to get on an early workout schedule. The alarm goes off. I shut it off and decide I need the sleep - I swam early yesterday and I'll swim early tomorrow...I'll run at lunch time and bike tonight (brick out the window). At lunch time, it's too hot to run...I'll do the brick tonight when I get home. Then I have to go the grocery store (well, not really, it could've waited but I'd rather do that than the brick). Then when I get home, it looks like there's a thunderstorm brewing so I better stay put. I have no one to answer to for the failure to get it done. No one but myself. Yes, there's a negative consequence: I'm not working to reach my goals...but somehow it doesn't compute for me. Is it that I don't like myself enough to hold myself accountable? I don't think I can reach the goals I set so I don't try? They're not unrealistic goals... Somehow, I (in capital type) am not important enough to myself to make sure things get done. What's UP with that? That's not how I want to treat myself. And yet, that's the way it after day.

I'm one of the maybe five folks in my morning Masters swim program that show up to every practice. I know that the reason for this is that I somehow feel accountable to the people there to show up. My coach travels 30 minutes to get there, twice a day, two times a I feel bad for her if only a few people show up. Weasel Boy gives me crap if I don't go and I dish it right back to him when he bails. It's fun, I always learn something new and it's social. Most of the core group are triathletes so we swap stories and info about upcoming races and recent accomplishments. Even when I don't feel like going, I go because I'm always glad I did. I've established accountability to the group and the coach and my swimming has improved dramatically. The SELF accountability now comes into play when I make sure to lead the lane and always push myself. No complacency, right?

But when it comes to biking, running, strength training, nutrition...I'm totally not getting the job done. And I'm totally frustrated with myself. Is the answer to get a tri coach, someone who I have to answer to when I don't do the a piano teacher that can totally tell when you didn't practice? I know without a doubt that I would respond to this...that I would do the work, especially if there were others being coached with me at the same time. But right now I can't afford a coach...and truthfully, what I REALLY want to get to the bottom of is why I can't seem to do it for myself. Is self-accountability a learned behavior? It's time for me to learn it...NOW.

I've been exploring whether or not I'm burned out on triathlon...and I really don't think so. It kind of sounds like I maybe I should go pick up a golf club or a kayak paddle and lighten up. I probably do need to do those things...but I feel so good when I'm in a good training routine. It gives me purpose and I'm an athlete, not a couch potato. Why is that not enough to keep me going?

One theory I have: When I first decided to train for a triathlon back in 2001, it was to have a goal other than weight loss. I weighed 200 lbs., I was ridiculously out of shape and I hated how I looked and how I felt. I was about to turn 30 and it was time to do something about my health. I lost 20 lbs pretty easily over that year and did my first race in July of wasn't pretty but it was enough to get me hooked. I did 3 sprints in 2003, 2 sprints and an olympic dist. race in 2004 and so far this summer I've done a half marathon, a sprint and half of an olympic race (bike crash) and I have two more sprints and another half marathon coming up...

...and I still weigh 180 lbs. And I still feel like my weight is the single biggest factor that's holding me back from excelling at this sport.

So perhaps I'm somehow feeling like all this training, all this working's not really getting me the results I set out what's the point? I was accountable to myself for a long time, I worked out EVERY DAY but the weight just stopped coming off.

I know it all has to do with calories in and calories used...and long slow distance training...I know all that. I need to do more, to do longer sessions - more than 1 eat better food and less of it...

I don't think I've given myself a chance to see how my weight responds to LSD workouts as I've mostly been training for sprints...and I know I haven't given my nutrition enough attention. Perhaps this will be my starting point. Today I will do a long slow bike ride. I'm going to give myself until October 1st, my half marathon and last race of the season, to see how I respond. I'm not going to pick a weight and try to get there, I'm just going to give myself a chance to get SOMEwhere rather than being frustrated for not getting ANYwhere. Truthfully, I haven't been doing the right things to get me there. Today I will start.

Today is accountability day #1, to be accountable to myself. I'm posting a picture of I'm looking into my own eyes as I say that I can learn this skill - to answer to myself and be proud of how far I've come...and how far I will go.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Random Reader Poll

OK, several things have been rolling around in my noggin for a bit and I wondered what folks had to say about them. Feel free to elaborate on any, all, or none of these random questions...

1.) My running shoes, especially the right one, seem to be shrinking. OK, OK, my feet are swelling and my right foot is bigger than my left. I can't tell if it's from the heat/humidity or the fact that when I don't have on running shoes or biking shoes, I'm barefoot or in flipflops. It's time to get new ones anyway as I begin my next round of half marathon training...I've gone two years now with Asic's Gel Kayanos - last year with the IX, this year with the XI (somehow I missed the X) - W's size 9.5 (and I usually wear an 8.5 or 9 women's sneaker so I don't think they're too small). I have a normal to wide foot and a basically neutral foot strike with normal arches...running between 6 and 14 miles/week...

What is YOUR running shoe of choice and what's so great about it??

2.) On Tuesdays and Thursday's I swim at 6:30am so I eat breakfast when I get to work, usually something I bring with me. I'm kinda burnt out on the yogurt/fruit/granola deal but it's fast and convenient. What's your favorite breakfast on the go that takes less than 7 minutes to assemble (I usually put it together with my lunch the night before...) Any egg ideas?...I can reheat stuff in the microwave but day old microwaved scramblers just don't do it for me...

3.) Do you keep a training log? Is it electronic or paper? If it's electronic, what application are you using? What are the top 5 things that you find are most helpful to keep track of?

4.) How much money do you spend/season on race entry fees? How about health club fees? Masters swimming fees? Anyone doing any fundraising for your own personal use (on top of fundraising for a cause)? If yes, what are you doing? Do you think it's ethical to fundraise for yourself?

5.) I read once that if you don't finish the race, you don't get to wear the T-shirt. What do you think?

6.) Why is the time always wrong on my blogger screen when I'm about to post?

7.) And last, do you watch Six Feet Under on HBO? If you don't, you SHOULD (OK, shameless's just SO GOOD). Can you BELIEVE what happened on Sunday night???? ARRRRRGGGHHHHHH!!! I guess I can't say I'm too surprised...I just thought they'd drag it out longer...what a huge buzz-kill.

OK, back to work... let me know what you think... ;)